Last week I discussed the flour sack and how it can be used to convey the torso in action poses. I prepared an assignment for my apprentices to practice their skills; this week we’ll take a look at the submissions. First up is Kyndra, who submitted her action poses (top row on the image below).
My general observation is that Kyndra is definitely using the line of action in each of her poses (Good!). There is a solid sense of form in the drawings as well (i.e. the character / object appears to have weight occupy a three dimensional space). I also like that she varied the poses between male and female.
Now let’s take a look at the specifics within each pose to see how she did.
1. The punch: My suggestion – play up the punching fist by making it much larger than the body to emphasize the action. The line of action on her pose can be exaggerated to make the pose look more dynamic. Raising the rear leg would give more force to the punch, by putting most of the body weight forward.
2. The bent pick-up: I like this pose, but from a silhouette standpoint, it could be ambiguous as to what the character is doing. To emphasize the fact that the character is picking something up, I chose a 3/4 view, making the hand towards the front more prominent / easily discernable when looking at its silhouette.
3. The scared run: This pose could be a little clearer. My suggestion: spread the character’s legs apart (full stride) and have the head cocked backward with the arms extended towards the front.
4. The twist: Good work here – see my visual notes in red. Moving the character’s left arm backwards just a pinch will add a gap between the arm and the back, thereby making the silhouette and pose clearer.
5. The weight lift: The upper body works really well; instead of bending both legs to where they’re mirroring each other, shift the weight onto one of the legs for a more interesting pose. When arms or legs mirror each other in a pose, it’s called “twinning”. Symmetry in any pose tends to flatten it.
6. The kick: I like the line of action on this one – maybe push the head forward to give more weight to the kick. I used curves against straights on the legs to emphasize the dynamics of the form.
Overall, I think Kyndra did pretty well. My advise would be to really push the line of action in her poses, think of the ‘extremes’ of the action, and always keep the clarity of the silhouette in mind when drawing. As always, I welcome your comments and thoughts.